By Mark Ladao | Staff Writer

Word on the Street: How would you improve the Great Lawn, or why do you like it the way it is?

Tomy Takemura
Age: 27
Hometown: Honolulu
Major: Interface Design

“I like it how it is. I like the way it’s kept right now. I mean, other than the fact, like, it’s nature, it’s going to have puddles … when it rains, but there’s nothing you can really do about that. But other than that, it’s a nice place to congregate with friends, things like that.”

Darryl Makekau
Age: 52
Hometown: Kāneʻohe
Major: Accounting

“I like the Great Lawn. I love open space though. … I wouldn’t actually do anything with it. … I wouldn’t be against [planting native plants.] If they did it right, that would be cool. Like, they could build a tropical forest or something where you could walk through … like a walk-in garden or something. I wouldn’t be opposed to that — sounds like a great idea. But they’ve got to be native.”

Malia Nguyen
Age: 22
Hometown: Vietnam
Major: Pre-med

“I would like to have more flowers because it looks nicer and more colorful. If they plant trees, it will probably get in the way of people walking. If we plant trees, it will block people’s views of the other buildings.”

John Schuetter
Age: 35
Hometown: Kāneʻohe
Major:  Health Sciences

“It might be nice to border it with plants around the sidewalk edges. … Maybe not totally restrict access to it, but add segments maybe. And it might be a good opportunity to get in some … little strips of native plants. … I suppose if you put more thought into it, you could control flow of people, coming in, accessing at different points. You can restrict access from certain points and kind of control the flow. But it seems like the grass is growing pretty well there, so it’s not like they have a pedestrian issue. … I don’t think you need that much big grass. It’s nice if you have an event, but I can’t think of any events recently that required the big lawn. It might be kind of nice to … maybe save part of it or something. … I would be hesitant to say I would want to change it for the sake of changing it, just because I wouldn’t want them to make another big building in there. …With some planning, there’s better ways to use it than what’s currently in use.”

Alex Lum
Age: 41
Hometown: Honolulu
Major: Pre-engineering

“Combination amphitheater and native garden … walkways, marked native plants, and like a gathering, performance area. … We kind of have an amphitheater. … We kind of use it to close activities like the Cactus Garden cleanup, so if we have a native garden there, potentially we could clean it up and the amphitheater’s right there. Or for International Week, instead of performing just in the cafeteria, they can also have performances outside. Also, there are teachers that might teach outside more.”